You want to be small fry or a big fry?

You wanna make $10 or $10,000?

That is the ultimate question.  Indie sites, like Etsy, Farmer’s Markets, and Vendors shows as well as many of these other small handmade businesses are great. You are making money here and there. But after talking with a mentor this week the big question loomed out there.

do I want to do my passion and potentially make no money or do I want to be in business? This is the difference i the $10/$10,000…seriously.

Making money on Etsy is fine for some. It’s $10 here or there. If you are fine with that, then great. I have no problem with that. Maybe you only desire to have a little spending money. Or maybe you just want to earn something for what you love to do.

However, if you want to play with the big kids here is a few things I learned yesterday I actually had no real awareness about til now…

Today I am doing research on Business Models. This is not a model like walking down a runway. I am talking about the Business Model for your company or Brand…aka what you are selling.

  • For every product you make you have to look at it as 1,000 items not one.
  • If Modcloth, or Rebel Circus or QVC Lori Greiner from Shark Tank Modcloth wanted to sell my product I would need to make 1,000 of the same item to be sold in their inventory. That is how it works. (Ok I kinda knew a bit about this but not as much as I learned yesterday)
  • Every product you decide to make you have to ask yourself if this product is worthy of 1,000 of the same item being made?
  • Is this product something you want known as your brand?
  • Is this product something you desire to make 1,000 of?
  • Then there are the channels….
    • That is where you are selling your product or item
    • Retail
    • Consignment
    • Drop Ship
    • Etsy
    • Goodsmiths
    • Square Market
    • Shopify
    • Other
  • This is all alot to take in even for me and I know there is SO much m ore I am not even touching on because well, honestly, I don’t know it all. 🙂

I found this online and really like the explanation of it so I thought I would share…

  • I also found this explanation of Goods on Wiki that I think is helpful as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_good 
  • Learning about your Goods and what you have and where it fits in this stream is a good thing to know.
  • I think it makes a difference in how you move forward…
  • I am currently looking up Business Models of brands I like and that inspired me.
  • Uniqlo is one of them. Here is their model

I am a lover of Modcloth. So when I was doing research for this blog I found this little diddy and fell in love with the story. Check out how Modcloth made it here http://mashable.com/2013/08/13/modcloth-scaling/

I am going to drop off this subject with this little board I saw and think this might be a good thing to find inmy notes from Leonie Dawson and Right Brain business Plan…I have something like this from them..Might be a good place to restart my engines..

Now we move onto to channels (or what I am learning about them anyway)

This is the old way

This is the new way (or so it seems to be the most)…Shop Channel sites like ones I mentioned earlier

  • Etsy
  • Goodsmiths
  • SquareMarket
  • Shopify
  • IndieMade
  • other (What are you using that I don’t have in this list so I can update my list…please comment)

My mentor challenged me to a couple of “homework” items to make some changes to change my thinking and how I am doing business based on the answer I gave him..

Which was..

I want to make $10,000, be in business and get off this presipus I am on.

Step one:

I need to make it easier for my customers to buy off my website. I have a lot of people who say they love my site www.trishatrixie.com 

but the feedback from my customers is they have a hard time finding out HOW to buy things and WHERE to get things, HOW to order a custom Apron or Accesorry and so forth.

So I have to fix that.

I have these channels:

Brick and Mortor Stores:

Inspired Locally

Burlesque Hall of Fame

Green Goods for the Home

then I have two channels for online stores

Goodsmiths for my Comic Creations (Actions Aprons/ Superhero Inspired pieces etc)

and

Square Market for everything else

(I have two because Goodsmiths does not currently have an Andoird Swipe and Square does. However I have an Itouch and am going to test out if I can use the Swipe on the Itouch and that might alleviate some things)

then I have a Fashion Question Form for them to order Custom (but yet even that form is still unclear)

However people aren’t getting it…which leads to step two

Step Two…

Clean out old inventory if it did not sell.

Post pictures of current inventory ON my website and lead /drive them to the online channels

Have the picture DIRECT link to the BUY page of that item (why didn’t I think of that!!!?)

Step Three:

Take time to focus on my Residual Income idea now that I have the time because the third challenge is gonna be the hardest for me as a designer…

DON’T CREATE/MAKE ANYTHING ELSE

I whined…

so he said “Okay, don’t make anything new until something old is sold”

I can do that. 🙂

Now driving business to the page..and I learned it should be one page. This again, was a nice reinforcement as I somewhat already knew this. I used to have a apge for one thing, and then another page for another type and I had one prifle for one thing and one profile for another and so on. When I noticed Danielle La Porte and Susan Barconi Moe and many others were consolidating and turning everything to ONE palce to find it all, that’s when I started adopting this. I may have a few FB pages, but they all lead back to me.

My website it the same. I know (and listen up if you are not following this rule) that all your products should be able to be handled and found on ONE page. It is not good to have a page for one type of product and one page for another type. You WANT people to get to know YOU, your BRAND, who YOU are and to TRUST that brand. If you throw something new it, add it to your current brand under a different line. If your current brand or website does not embody that, then perhaps it is time for a change and time to rebirth your brand. Make your Business name or Brand so unique but simple no matter what you do could be under that brand. Thus why I am Trisha Trixie. Everything that I am falls under that. PinUp. Model. Fashionista. Blogger. Designer.

To some degree I am doing this, but since my shop sites are separate this has been where most of the confusion lies and why it has been an issue.

This has been a struggle for me which is why I was thinking oh I need a merchant account site or I need to pay and so on. How many of us in businesses like this think that way. But in the long run, I knwo there are workarounds and since WordPress.com offers FREE hosting, I have not wanted to go that route. I stare at pages like Shopify and groan thinking “but I like my site. Others like my site. Can’t I just make it better?”

Hopefully, with these changes and updates, I can.

So back to driving business to my ONE page. www.trishatrixie.com

Driving business I think is easier now that we have Social Media outlets like these…

I have seen a vast amount of upscale in sales since I have been using Twitter. But I do not have measureable goals and stats to prove that.

So that is Step Four:

Start Measuring.

Look at stats.

See what is working and what is not. Remove what is not. Make what is working better.

Hopefully, with all of this I will be able to proceed to the next level of sales. Also in cutting down what I am making perhaps it will allow me more time to work on the website idea I am doing, blog to drive more traffic, have time to write articles for magazines and start generating a different drive essentially thus again upping my sales.

Lastly,

as I said in the beginning. If you are fine with the way it is. Then that’s great. I enjoy designing, making creating,  but I want more. Or, at least I think I do. With these tips we will see if I can do things this way. I think this will also answer my questions on Passion or Business?

I realize this means not as much creating and that is the positive sacrifice I am willing to take right now.

My desire (#CDF) in the end is to be #Profitable (ned to add) and these others listed here…

Desires1Desires

I am for the path that takes me there…

My yellow brick road is mine to color, create, sparkle and lead me to however I desire to go. It is up to me to lay each brick down the right way. Otherwise I could end up in some crazy tree land with poppies that steeer me off my path.

I will find my Oz.

One way…or another…I’m gonna find it…

Xoxo Trisha Trixie

One little tidbit I found for ya as I was looking for imags to add to this. Ways to Make Gobs of Money. Check it out.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/9-ways-gobs-money-seriously-123000074.html

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Know Thy Customer As Thy Know Thy Brand

Know Thy Customer As Thy Know Thy Brand

You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can not please all of the people all of the time.

I have learned this year while trying to design my dream, my fashions and my likes and desires that no matter how much I think it is great and  super fab, not everyone is going to agree with me.

There are things I needed to learn and scripts for my perfect customer that I need to write. Stephanie St. Claire talks a lot about future scripting and in her Entrepreneurship sessions I have had with her she has said this to me and groups many many time.

Write out who your perfect customer would be?

  • Is it a male or female or both?
  • How old is he/she?
  • Where do they live?
  • How much money do they earn?
  • How do they make a living?
  • What is their profession or career?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What types of stores do they like to shop at at? Small stores? Online? Big Stores? None, All, Some of the above?
  • What do they wear now?
  • What are they not finding when shopping?
  • What are their Goals and Dreams?
  • What is their Personality?
  • What type of music do they like?

For me, I need to push those questions even further

  • Do they like Retro, Vintage?
  • Do they buy for others or only themselves?
  • Do they like wearing Aprons?
  • What is their mindset about an Apron?
  • Do I desire to change that viewpoint?
  • To what extent do I desire to change that point?
  • Do they have a favorite Era they like?
  • Do they have a specific Vintage style they prefer?
  • How often to they dress Retro/Vintage?
  • Are they into Pin Up?
  • What is their perception of Pin Up?

and so on…

If your client, public or customer is not easy to define, then define all the opposite of these questions. You will get to know who your target audience is and who it is not. The benefit I learned from this is that, as I said before, not everyone is going to be my perfect customer.

I then have to decide some of those other questions I mentioned like whether or not I want to try to change their mind. If I care about their perception. or I want to try to change it for themselves or who they are buying for. Sometimes, I have learned that is honestly not worth it. I am not trying to be mean here, but some people do not get the PinUp Style. They think it is naughty and wrong. They associate it with Burlesque, which is a whole other element and style. They don’t see it like I do.

Some people do not understand why I would want to make Aprons. Many and I do mean many people assume apron equals Kitchen. That is not the case. This , however, is my passion to try to change the minds of the general population about what an apron is for, why you would wear one and what varying styles of aprons there are.  I want to show others how different and unique my aprons are. I want to show them that a Trisha Trixie apron is so fabulous that is could go from Home to Happy Hour. In addition to that, I desire to help others see their potential and uses in all aspects of their life. Lastly, I want others to see that Aprons are and can be very sexy, which is why I came out with my Lingerie Apron line.

Asking yourself these questions, answering them honestly and wholeheartedly can and will improve your business, your brand and yourself as a designer. Once you have clear cut answers to these it will also help you stand strong against the naysayers and those who actually think they are helping by telling you all teh other things you should, could and “if you were smart” would design.

This is where you smile sweetly and say  “Thank you for that input and insight. I will take that into consideration” Do you as you say and think about it. If it does not however meet with the brand, then don’t do it.

As I designer I have noticed that once people see that you can draw, sew and create something, they assume you would want to do all these other things. You have to develop one Mantra I have if nothing else…

STAY TRUE TO THE BRAND

If you have answered these and have it clear in your mind what the brand is, you will be able to do that.

You will know your customer and who the perfect one is.

You will know how to deal with those who are not your customer because you have already laid the foundation in your mind of who it is and who it is not.

I like to make aprons that look like suits for Men and Dresses for women. How many times a day do you think I hear and see people say and send me pictures of the way THEY think I should do something? Far too much to mention, let us just leave it at that.

I hear I should make dresses. I hear I should design children’s wear. I hear I should make my aprons this way or that way. People post pictures on my wall, in my email and other social media of aprons they like and tell me how I should make one like my competitors. I hear I should go on reality TV shows. I hear a vast amount of ideas from others. This always has a two fold effect on me. I am thankful that my friends are offering such things as these to me in an effort to show they care about me. However, they do not understand MY business and MY brand so it can be frustrating. I do not allow this to bother me, instead take it as a compliment that my friends are so open with me a find it as a blessing.

I do take into consideration a lot of what my pals say as well. There are some things even they do not know however, that I do know. I DO plan to make dresses one day. I plan to hopefully one day make Red Carpet Couture Gowns.

I HAVE though about making children’s clothes, but don’t know that I care enough to make it for everyone, yet thinking about making it as gifts for my pals that have young children that I know and love.

I have NO desire to make menswear. Me and pants do not get along.

I have no desire to do Project Runway. too many crazy things I would have to make and I want to make what I want.

I DO desire to go on Shark Tank. I am currently prepping and coming up with a plan of attack to hopefully be able to do this.

I DO desire to go n talk shows and other TV shows and work the entertainment circuit to help bring aprons back and to show the world how fabulous they can be!!

So you see, your friends, your customers and others who you may come across may or may not know you or your brand. That is ok. As time goes on, you will feel more solid in your brand and as you feel solid others will start to know your brand as well.

If you do not have answers to these questions about your brand, take the time to start answering them for yourself. In the long run, you will learn just as I have, what a vast difference in your brand it will make!